Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Double Dare Turns 30 and Nick at Nite Will Celebrate; Remembering Sitcom Writer and Producer Austin "Rocky" Kalish

Double Dare

On your mark, get set, go! In celebration of the 30th anniversary year of Double Dare, which originally launched on Oct. 6, 1986, Nickelodeon will reunite original host Marc Summers with his beloved announcer Harvey and right-hand woman Robin, for a brand-new commemorative special premiering Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick at Nite. Featuring vintage footage, behind-the-scenes content and messy new games taped this year, the half-hour special will let fans revisit their favorite game show from their childhood. The special will encore at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon's The Splat, the network's programming block dedicated to Nick's legendary library of hits from the '90s and 2000s. Double Dare originally aired from 1986-1993 on Nickelodeon, making it the network's longest running game show. Hosted by Summers, the series consisted of two-member teams of kids competing to win cash and prizes by answering trivia questions, completing messy, physical challenges and facing the infamous obstacle course.

The Double Dare special will kick off a holiday weekend that also includes the premiere of Legends of the Hidden Temple, an original TV movie inspired by the '90s game show of the same name, on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). The new action-adventure TV movie follows three siblings who break away from a lackluster tour in a jungle, finding themselves immersed in a high-stakes adventure comprised of obstacles that they must complete in order to escape alive. The TV movie will feature many elements from the original game show including: Olmec, the legendary talking head; The Steps of Knowledge, the entrance to the temple and launching pad for the mission; and appearances from a green monkey, red jaguar, and silver snakes, among others.


Austin Kalish

Sitcom writer and producer Austin "Rocky" Kalish, who worked on Maude, All in the Family and Good Times, has died. He died on October 5 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, California. Mr. Kalish was 95.

Kalish married his wife Irma in 1948. They wrote for The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show for radio before moving to television. His early television credits included Meet Corliss Archer, The Colgate Comedy Hour and Johnny Staccato.

The couple co-wrote the pilot episode of Gilligan's Island with Elroy Schwartz. They created the show's characters and named them. They named the damaged boat the S. S. Minnow, which was named after former F.C.C. chairman Newton Minow. Kalish also co-wrote the episodes "Voodoo Something to Me" and "Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk."

Some of his other sitcom writing credits in the 1960s included The Bob Cummings Show, The Donna Reed Show, Glynis, The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Gidget, My Favorite Martian, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, That Girl, F Troop, The Flying Nun, Family Affair, My Three Sons and Nanny and the Professor.

Austin and Irma Kalish worked together on the Norman Lear sitcoms Maude, All in the Family and Good Times in the 1970s. In 1972, they wrote "Maude's Dilemma," in which Maude decides to have an abortion after an unexpected pregnancy.

They wrote four episodes of All in the Family, including "The Blockbuster," "Archie Goes Too Far," "Gloria the Victim," and "Edith's Christmas Story." In "Gloria the Victim," Gloria is a victim of attempted rape and must decide whether to notify the police or keep quiet. In the cancer-focused "Edith's Christmas Story," Edith tries to get in on the joy of Christmas even though she has a lump in her breast.

They wrote five episodes of Good Times in 1976-1977. They co-produced a total of 48 episodes of the series in Seasons 4 and 5. Some of his other sitcom writing credits in the 1970s included The Bob Newhart Show, Dusty's Trail, Good Heavens and Carter Country.

The couple worked as executive producers for Too Close for Comfort from 1980-1982. They also wrote eight episodes of the series. Mr. Kalish co-wrote four episodes of The Facts of Life and one episode of 227. Ms. Kalish worked as an executive producer for The Facts of Life and 227.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with the couple on December 21, 2012.

Survivors include his wife Irma, their son, TV producer Bruce Kalish, their daughter Nancy, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mr. Kalish was a legendary sitcom writer. He and his wife Irma were a great writing team who worked on many groundbreaking episodes. We thank them for the many hours of entertainment they brought us over the years. He will be greatly missed.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, January 20

Last Man Standing - "A House Divided" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Mike and Vanessa ask newlyweds Mandy and Kyle to tone down their constant displays of affection, Mandy agrees but only if her parents become more discreet in the way they express their feelings to each other. Meanwhile, Kristen gets Eve a gig playing at the Grill, but Ed wants to fire her after a lackluster performance.

Dr. Ken - "A Day in the Life" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Amy (guest star Yvette Nicole Brown), the producer of a documentary health series, follows Ken around to record a typical day at an HMO, giving Ken his big moment in the limelight.  But much to Ken’s chagrin, a series of the less than thrilling day-to-day parts of the job at Welltopia leads Ken to doubt his own career choice.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 16)

Friday, January 20

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.